Side strain forces Cummins home from England series

AUSTRALIA’S fast bowling injury curse has struck again, with Patrick Cummins to be sent home from the one-day international tour of England just as he had made his long-awaited return after eight months sidelined with a heel problem.
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This time it is a side strain that has dragged the 19-year-old down and left his hopes of adjusting to the English conditions, one year out from the Ashes, in ruins.

Cummins picked up the abdominal injury, on his left side, during his debut appearance at Lord’s on Friday, the first match of the five-game series, which England won.

He was feted for his rawness and pace and, while he took some late punishment, principally from England’s Eoin Morgan, there was a general eagerness here to see what he could offer in this short campaign.

Cummins did not bowl as fast as he is able to at Lord’s – he was clearly showing caution with the heel injury still fresh in his mind – but now he faces another lengthy stint in rehabilitation.

It had been anticipated that the teenager would play for Australia in next month’s under-19 World Cup in Queensland but that will almost certainly not happen. It is hoped, instead, that he will be available for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.

Australian team doctor John Orchard said Cummins did the damage in his 10-over spell in the first match of the series on Friday.

”While [Pat] was able to complete his 10 overs, he was sore after the game and was scanned, the results of which have revealed a medium-grade side-strain,” he said.

”This will keep him out of the remainder of the England tour. His return to cricket will be decided in due course, based on follow-up examinations in Australia.”

No replacement was added to the tour as Australia has ample supply of fast bowlers for the rest of the series, having brought Brett Lee, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson as well as Cummins in the touring party.

Cummins’ sat out the entire summer with injury after starring on Test debut in South Africa last November.

Cummins’ injury was announced an hour before the second match of the series at the Oval overnight.

■Australian opener David Warner has dismissed suggestions the present ODI series against England is meaningless, arguing that the short campaign is invaluable in the lead-up to his first Ashes contest next year.

Warner talks a lot like he plays. Brash, uncompromising and entertaining, the left-hander can get on the front foot whether he is facing microphones and cameras or a 150km/h yorker. They are calling him ”beefy” over here – as an adjective; they already have their own ”Beefy” – as a noun. Either way, that powerful, compact frame threatens to be one of Australia’s most important assets in the next English summer.

Rather than seeing this series, which continued overnight at the Oval, as lacking context, Warner regards the five matches against the old enemy as a key preparatory tool. Of the grounds used for this series four – Lord’s, the Oval, Durham and Old Trafford – will host Ashes Tests next year.

The 25-year-old has played in Twenty20 competitions in England, but now that he is in the Test team he is even more eager to chalk up time in the middle here.

”It gives me an opportunity to see first hand what the wickets are like over here, and that you’re never in. That’s the thing. Early on the ball is going to nip around and then, who knows? In the 50 or 60 overs in a Test match I’ve still got to do the same thing.”

This England-Australia series has been plagued by claims that it lacks importance – it was scheduled as a compromise for England playing some warm-up ODIs against Australia ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

”We take every series as important as the next one,” Warner said. ”We’re playing for Australia and any contest against England in England is a fantastic achievement. To play at Lord’s, the Oval etc, it’s just a fabulous experience for us.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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